Online Harassment


man staring at a cyberbullying project board
Cyberbullying

cyberbullying” by MaineDOE is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

This week I wanted to speak about online harassment. The audio I’ve shared dives into a parent’s account of their 11-year child being harassed and cyberbullied as well as some statistics and tips on online harassment.

If you’d prefer to read:

*Disclaimer: Please note I refer to this parent as a [she] various times in my audio and I meant to say [they] as their gender is unknown. *

“I found my daughter was being cyber bullied a week ago. It had started a few weeks earlier but became extreme last week. This was part of an ongoing bullying campaigned by a group of girls at her school after a broken friendship. When it became Cyber I kept copies of the harassment which was lucky as I was able to take it to the school. She had been called vile horrible names, accused for things she hadn’t done and set up to appear racist. There were threats of bashing. Finally she was provoked and she ended up using language out of character in retaliation….[continue here]

STATISTICS

According to Pew Research:

  • 41% of U.S. adults have personally experienced online harassment
  • 64% of U.S. adults ages 18-29 have experienced online harassment 
  • 75% of online abuse is on social media

TIPS FOR COMBATTING

According to Vice & BoscoLegal:

  • Document everything
    • it’s important to keep physical documentation of harassment to use as proof of evidence (for example, the parent from the story shared above had physical proof their child was being cyber bullied). 
  • Protect yourself: 
    • Increase your cyber security protection by changing your passwords, adding 2-step authentication to accounts, and limiting what your share on social media. 
    • Be aware of your physical surroundings as you never know what people are capable of. 
  • Assert yourself by speaking out against your harasser or acknowledge that you are being harassed and ask for support from your community
    • Reach out to a therapist if the harassment takes a mental toll on you.
  • Take action on social media by blocking, muting, and reporting your harasser
  • Ask the police for help. 

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